Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) told supporters to act in “unprecedented” ways and to fight back in every way they can during a Facebook live event on Monday.
Sanders was responding to a question about what average citizens can do to stop and fight the proposed Republican health care bill.
“We’ve got to stand up and fight back,” Sanders said.
“We’ve got to be involved in the political process in a way that we’ve never been before.”
Sanders went on to criticize Republicans for their health care bill and the secrecy surrounding the drafting of it.
“So you have got to, Mary, act in an unprecedented way, think big, get involved in every way that you can,” Sanders said.
“So, Mary, stand up and fight back in every way that you can.”
Sanders’ words were notable because members of Congress were united last week in toning down political rhetoric following Wednesday’s shooting at a GOP congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va.
Shooter James T. Hodgkinson was a supporter of Sanders and consistently posted anti-Republican screeds on social media. Hodgkinson also reportedly volunteered for Sanders’ presidential campaign in Iowa. Sanders denounced and condemned the shooter and all political violence last week.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper pressed Sanders on Sunday on his rhetoric about “political revolution.”
“You have been speaking the language of revolution for many years,” Tapper said.
“Are you concerned that some individuals are able to take your rhetoric as a literal call to arms?”
Sanders said there is rhetoric on both sides that is unacceptable and went on to say violence is not part of the political process.
“I think this is a moment where the American people have got to stand up, fight back to a Congress which is out of touch with where working families are,” Sanders said.
“But it goes without saying that violence is not part of that process.”
Later in the Facebook Live event, Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) called Republicans cowardly and cynical.